What is the Difference Between Mathematics and Statistics?

What is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics

For students who are pursuing advanced Mathematics, the question of the distinction between Mathematics and Statistics is perennial. While the leading Mathematicians think of Statistics as no more than a part of Applied Mathematics, there are many who think otherwise. So to answer the question “what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics”, we have to understand the core concept of both the disciplines and see what they comprise of. With the help of this blog, we will try to explore the question of what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics, and what is the relevance of the distinction. 

What is Mathematics?

It is quite hard to encapsulate Mathematics in a single definition. Pure Mathematics is a study of change, numbers, quantities and space, ranging from simple arithmetic operations to complex applied Mathematics. To answer the question of what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics, the world of Mathematics is indeed quite diverse, making it safe to say that no quantitative study is ever possible without any use of Mathematics in it. The discipline is a core subject for school education, and relevant to a majority of higher education courses also. There are numerous specialisation courses across different branches of Mathematics that you can opt from, which can either include the subject as complementary or have it at the core of their curriculum. 

What is Statistics?

Further, carrying on the debate of the difference between Mathematics and Statistics, the latter is a specialised study relating to the interpretation, collection, translation and analysis of data. As the complexity of tasks undertaken by humans increases every day, the amounts of data that needs to be managed multiplies with it. Mathematics is deep-rooted in the basics of Statistics, as the discipline derives all of its operations from Mathematical operations. 

Difference between Mathematics and Statistics: Topics Covered

This segment will be key to elucidating what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics. Here, you will witness a stark difference between the domains of Maths and Stats. Although there is some overlap of some sub-topics among the two disciplines, the core essence is highly differentiated. Here are the key contents of Mathematical and Statistical theory:

Key Subjects Covered of Mathematical Theory

Applied Mathematics Mathematical Foundations Space 
Discrete Mathematics Mathematical Philosophy Structure
Mathematical Logic Change Quantity
Historical Mathematics Mathematical Psychology Nature of Mathematics

Key Subjects Covered of Statistical Theory 

Nature of statistics Statistics software Computational Statistics
Probability distributions Random variables Statistical inference
Analysing data Experiments and surveys Describing data
Probability Theory Filtering Data History of Statistics

Key Differences Between Mathematics and Statistics

To evaluate what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics, here are a few comprehensive pointers, aimed at the key distinctions in philosophy and application of both these disciplines. 

  • Mathematics follows a rigid theorem and proof structure throughout the whole discipline. There are well-defined facts which are laid down as a part of proven human knowledge which has the minimal scope of change. However, Statistics is a discipline where individuals handle real-life data. This factor makes this field of study more abstract, where individuals have to develop newer solutions to problems that may be novel in nature.
  • Mathematics deals with the understanding of space, measures and structures in their rudimentary form whereas Statistics is just concerned with the collection, sorting, interpretation and representation of raw data. 
  • Mathematics is a very broad domain of study, encompassing virtually all quantitative disciplines whereas Statistics is a specific discipline within it, deeply associated with Applied Mathematics.
  • Statistics is strictly related to physical data and its interpretation, hence it has limited scope. Mathematics, however also deals with abstract concepts which may be metaphysical in nature. Hence, Mathematics has a much wider scope as compared to Statistics.

Now that we have explored the key factors for the question on what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics, let’s have a look at the courses offered under both disciplines. Although, it must be noted that there are quite a few courses, especially at the postgraduate level which are interdisciplinary in nature, essentially borrowing from both the fields of study. Here are some of the popular courses offered under Mathematics and Statistics:

Popular Mathematics Courses Popular Statistics Courses
B.A. Mathematics  B.A. Statistics
B.Sc. Mathematics B.Sc Statistics
M.Sc Mathematics  M.Sc Statistics
M.Sc Applied Mathematics M.Sc Applied Statistics
M.Sc Financial Mathematics M.Sc Data Science and Statistics
M.Sc Modern Applications of Mathematics M.Sc Operational Research and Statistics
M.Sc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics M.Sc Statistics with Data Analytics
MRes Management Mathematics PhD in Social Statistics
DPhil in Mathematics MPhil Mathematics and Statistics
PhD Mathematical Sciences PhD in Statistics

Hope this article answers the much-debated question of what is the difference between Mathematics and Statistics for you. Both these disciplines form the core of the functioning of human life while being highly correlated with each other. If you are intrigued by Mathematics or Statistics courses listed in this blog and want to pursue a degree in any of these fields, we are here to help. Our Leverage Edu experts will guide you throughout the process of selecting the best course and university as well as gearing up for the application and ensuring that you get successfully shortlisted! Sign up for a free session with us today!

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